Here’s the secret to buying a used car

There are plenty of advantages to buying a used car instead of paying top dollar for a new one, but a tight market could make finding the right one challenging.


There are a number of issues to consider when buying used, and some secrets you should know before you make that purchase at any of the Albion used car dealers.

Budget wisely.

Buying a car can be exciting, but paying for it can be stressful. It’s important to establish a realistic budget for your used car purchase, one that won’t leave you regretting that purchase. If you want to pay cash, don’t drain your savings. If you use a loan to buy the vehicle, make sure you can afford the monthly payments.

Choose features you need, not necessarily those you want.

Once you know how much you can spend, focus on the type of features in the car that you need. If you need extra space for kids and pets, look for roomy vehicles that offer extra cargo space. If you are concerned about safety, focus on vehicles with excellent crash test results and safety features.

Make a list of your must-have features, and a separate list of wants. But remember to separate the two, and must-haves outrank the wants.

Study the market.

There are lots of ways to determine what’s the right price for your vehicle. Check out the websites that list used cars for sale, car-buying apps and pricing guides for vehicles. All can offer you a range of prices that help you identify what’s on the high side and what’s a good deal.

Narrow down your list of possible purchases.

When you have a good idea of the used car market and the vehicles you like most, identify several top candidates for your purchase. This gives you options to consider if your top choice is sold before you can buy it or if the prices are just too high when considering market value.

Get a vehicle history report.

Once you’ve identified your top prospects, make sure you get a vehicle history report for each. This offers valuable information that may impact your decision to buy the vehicle, like its accident history or whether required maintenance was performed.

Test-drive your top choices.

Never buy a used vehicle without test-driving it. This helps reveal potential problems a vehicle might have. It may also help you determine if this is truly the right vehicle for you. Maybe it’s not as roomy as you need, or perhaps it’s sluggish and hard to accelerate. You need to know if the AC works and if everything else is operating inside the vehicle.

Have a mechanic inspect the vehicle.

Once you find the vehicle that fits your budget, your must-haves, and your driving preferences, make sure to take it to a trusted mechanic for their inspection.

These can cost more than $100, but they are absolutely worth the price. If your seller doesn’t like the idea of you taking the vehicle to a mechanic, consider that a red flag.

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